OLYMPIC boxing is a perilous game. As well as the vagaries of the draw in tournaments, of judging sometimes, there is additional uncertainty at present. AIBA, the world governing body, have indicated they will reduce the number of men’s weight divisions for Tokyo 2020 from 10 to eight, while increasing the number of women’s divisions from three to five. While creating further opportunities for female boxers is most welcome, it’s a drastic move to cut two established categories, especially more than a year after the Olympics when boxers have committed themselves to the next cycle. There has been no further clarity on what divisions might lose their Olympic status.
Galal Yafai is probably one of many uneasy light-flyweights. “If you look at my weight, 49kgs, nearly every person that went to the Olympics and won a medal is still there now. They don’t really go pro, do they, at my weight,” he tells Boxing News.
“Look at the other weights, a lot of them have gone, Olympic champions have gone pro, or the silver medallists have moved on. It’s a bit unfair if they get rid of my weight now when 49 kilos are the most loyal to AIBA. They stay, don’t they? It’s a bit unfair if they got rid of 49kgs. They could change it to 50 kilos or 51. I’ve just got to go with whatever happens really,” he speculated.